The Avondale College paper trail
24 March 2010
Public relations assistant
Take a look in your recycle bin. Go on! It will help with this exercise.
I want you to imagine the journey the paper in your bin makes once you put it there. Let's begin the journey near the end, at one of the transfer stations operated by Veolia Environmental Services, the company that collects recyclable products from the Lake Macquarie campus of Avondale College. The paper makes it this far because, back in 2002, the then Avondale Student and Faculty Association president Clinton Eakins helped put in place the means to recycle paper. Thank you, Clinton. So, back to the beginning of the journey.
You scribble the details of a voicemail on a page from a notepad. After returning the call, you throw the page in the recycle bin. The page lies in the bin, between the hardcopy of your lecture notes and the agenda of the meeting you attended last week, until a student who works for Cleaning Services knocks on your door. The student stuffs the paper from your bin into a black bag, which they then empty into a white lattice cage near cleaning supervisor Julie Michel's office. Merv Dennis collects the paper from this cage and takes it away each day to empty into a larger four-wheeled steel bin at the side of the cafeteria. A rubbish truck from Veolia empties this bin.
The journey the paper in your bin makes is part of a larger journey, that of Avondale College becoming a more ecologically sound manager of the environment of its Lake Macquarie campus. Significant milestones on the journey this year, as reported in previous editions of Connections, include: the release of the first draft of Avondale's Energy and Environment Policy; Avondale's contribution to Clean Up Australia Day; the publication of the first volume of a catalogue of native fauna and flora on the Avondale Estate; and the makeover of Girls Walk.
Remember this next time you use a piece of paper. The journey begins when you make the decision to recycle.
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